Considering their past history in postseason play, if Sunday's game between the Vermillion Red Sox and the Renner Monarchs had occurred at tournament time in August instead of in June, it likely would be considered a classic to be remembered for years to come.
Even though it was just a regular-season contest, the 1-0 cliffhanger in which the Sox clipped the defending state amateur champions contained plenty of drama.
The only run of the nine-inning affair came in the fourth when Drew Benton singled, moved to third on Colby Lessmann's hit and scored on Tyler Candor's RBI single.
Charlie Benz, Red Sox hurler, went the distance and, though there were some hairy moments along the way, he persevered and escaped three major potential disasters. Benz scattered eight hits, struck out four and walked only three in earning the victory.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox had only other hit besides the three they bunched together to produce their lone run. In fact, after they scored their run in the fourth, Monarchs' pitcher Drek Omme retired the last 13 Vermillion batters in the game. His only problem was that his teammates could not muster a single score.
Renner left the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh and stranded 10 men in all.
In the eighth the Renner leadoff man reached with a hit, but he was erased in a double play engineered by shortstop Robin Chute.
The top of the ninth was even more frightening. After Benz struck out the first Monarch batter, Rusty Remmers singled. Next up was Aaron Gaspar, and he too singled, advancing Remmers to second. But Vermillion right-fielder Ben Oberle, after picking up the ball on Gaspar's hit, fired a strike to the shortstop position where Chute and third-baseman Ken Longman joined up in catching Remmers between second and third after he had rounded second on Gaspar's hit.
Renner still had Gaspar as the tying run at first with two out, but Benz persauded Grant Hieb to hit a come-backer to the mound, and the final out was secured when the pitcher threw him out at first.
Aron Severson had two of the Monarchs' eight hits. Dan Hansen had the other Red Sox hit.
Red Sox 9, Grey Sox 5
The first get-together of the season in Vermillion's friendly amateur baseball "civil war" at Prentis Park last Wednesday resulted in a 9-5 win for the Red Sox as starter Justin Green, who threw 3 2/3 innings, and reliever Garrett Linhardt allowed only six Grey Sox hits.
Four of the Grey Sox hits came together in the fourth inning when they scored four times to take a 5-2 lead, but the Greys had only one hit the rest of the way against Linhardt, who struck out seven during his tenure on the mound while walking four.
The Red Sox had scored once in the second on a Tyler Candor hit and another in the third on Chute's double.
The winners cut their deficit to 5-4 with two runs in the sixth driven in on hits by Aaron Fischer and Candor. They then took the lead at 7-5 with three runs in the seventh. Ben Oberle's bunt for a basehit ignited the rally, and a single by Hansen, a double by Benton and two Grey Sox errors contributed to the cause.
The Red Sox added two eighth-inning insurance runs on an infield grounder off Oberle's bat and a Justin Beebe RBI single.
Zack Weiss started on the hill for the Greys, giving way to start the seventh to Tim Ross.
Red Sox 9, Roadrunners 4
The Red Sox started last week with a 9-4 win over the Renner Roadrunners. Lessmann had a double for the offense. Fischer pitched 2 1/3 innings as their starter, and Benz relieved for 5 2/3 innings to get the pitching win.
The Red Sox will be home at 2 p.m. Sunday against the Sioux City Giants and again next Wednesday against Garretson at 7:30 p.m.